Pakistan Test captain Babar Azam leads his team out during the Multan Test vs England© AFP
Pakistan are in dire trouble. Yes, Babar Azam’s team’s chances of reaching the World Test Chanpionship final now hang by a thread. A little over a week back, Pakistan were in control of their fortunes. They had five home Test matches coming up, albeit against tough oppositions like England and New Zealand, and the Asian giants had a good chance securing one of the two spots available for the WTC final. But after narrowly losing the Multan Test against England, having already slipped up in the first Test at Rawalpindi, Pakistan have not only conceded a home series, but have ensured their fate is not in their own hands anymore.
Pakistan slipped to the sixth spot on the WTC leaderboard after the loss and with three matches to go (1 against England and 2 against New Zealand), Babar Azam’s men know they need to not the just them all but also hope other results to go their way.
One of those would be for India to lose both their Tests against Bangladesh, which looks a little difficult, despite the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma (1st Test) from the team.
The result in Multan means India now can make it to the final even if they lose one of the four Tests at home against Australia. But for Rohit Sharma’s team to remain hopeful of that by the time they host the Baggygreens in February, they need to first blank Bangladesh in the two upcoming matches.
Another crucial series in all of this will be the one between Australia and South Africa. India would hope the Proteas as swept away by the Aussies at home, so that their chances of leapfrogging them to the second spot improves further.
A lot of permutations and combinations will be involved in the upcoming two months, which will make Test cricket even more interesting for the purists.
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